Access to Courts and the Prison Litigation Reform Act

The federal Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) has created a number of new obstacles for prisoners seeking a judicial hearing of their claims of unlawful and abusive treatment, including a requirement to exhaust administrative remedies, i.e., jail and prison grievance procedures. PRP has successfully pursued a series of appeals in the Second Circuit to obtain favorable interpretations of the statute, has assisted other attorneys in this jurisdiction and elsewhere in obtaining favorable decisions in PLRA litigation, and has collaborated on amicus briefs and consulted on briefing and argument strategy in cases in the United States Supreme Court concerning the PLRA. PRP is presently participating in a coalition of civil rights organizations to seek repeal or amendment of portions of the PLRA.